We were first introduced to GA Henty many years ago when my oldest son, John Allen, read one of his many great historical novels. He fell in love with them at once and has read many if his other books since then. When we found out that Heirloom Audio Productions was producing audio theater versions of his books we were beyond thrilled. The first one that we reviewed was, if I remember clearly, With Lee in Virginia, and we have either reviewed or bought and listened to every one since then. Recently we were invited to review their newest release In the Reign of Terror and it is just as professionally done and attention grabbing as the rest of the audio theater CDs that they have done.
You may be wondering what the difference is between “audio theater” and regular recorded books. Let me just tell you that when we listened to our first adventure, I was skeptical as to whether or not my kids would pay attention and be interested. That was back when we just had our three biological kids and we listened to the recording on a long road trip that we were on. They were completely enthralled! You could have heard a pin drop in the car – that is if the recording weren’t playing at the time. Every adventure has been the same since. Heirloom Audios Productions is just as the name suggests – an adventure! It is recorded in such a way that it is as if you were in a theater watching a movie and closed your eyes. You can imagine yourself being right in the action. The sound affects, background music, and everything is superbly done. And, the actors and actresses that portray each character are well known. This recording includes Brian Blesses of Star Wars, Tarzan, and Robin Hood fame, John Rhys-Davies from The Lord of the Rings and Indiana Jones movies, Cathy Sara of Downton Abbey and Christina Greatrex of The Royal Shakespeare Company among others.
This particular story is about a 16 year old boy by the name of Harry who leaves his home and family in England to live with and learn from The Marquis De St Caux and his family in France. Join Harry and the Marquis son also 16 when they rescue damsels in distress from a vicious dog, go on a wolf hunt for a ravaging wolf and, eventually, find themselves involved in the terrible French Revolution. We laughed at Harry trying to get used to France and the Frenchmen equally trying to communicate with Harry. We held our breath when Harry rescues his the family that took him in. I won’t go into too much detail because I don’t want to spoil the story, but the ending of all of the Heirloom Audio Productions recordings almost always leave us in tears and this one is no different. These are truly adventures. However, the GA Henty books are much more than just good books. They are what is called “historical fiction” which means that the characters may not have necessarily been real (although many are), but the historical information is accurate. My kids have learned so much history from these recordings!
If you think that the recording is all that there is, though, you are mistaken. Not only are the recordings fantastic but the extras that you get if you join the Live the Adventure Club are fantastic. Not only do you receive mp3 downloads and posters but you also can download a fantastic discussion starter and question guide. For each track of the CD this guide has many, many questions to make sure that your child is comprehending well, questions to discuss with your child to make them think further about what is happening, and many vocabulary words for your child to look up or for you to discuss with your child. This is very helpful if you are using this in a homeschool setting.
Once again we are thrilled with In the Reign of Terror from Heirloom Audio Productions. It is another fantastic production. To find out more about this audio theater CD or any other GA Henty CD’s from Heirloom Audio Productions just click on any one of the highlighted links above. You can check out what other members of the Homeschool Review Crew think about this production by clicking on the banner below. Happy listening!